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'the gift of singing' - U of M Setback Essay Punctuation help


timothyerdei 4 / 16  
Dec 31, 2008   #1
Here is my biggest essay for the University of Michigan. I am not fully confident in my punctuation skills and am looking for some help. Also, this is the final draft and would like to know if it is good. Thanks

[A] Describe a setback that you have faced. How did you resolve it? How did the outcome affect you? If something similar happened in the future, how would you react? (Approximately 500 words).ï

There I stood, sweat dripping down my face, my legs shaking as if they were made of Jell-O, and my heart beating violently inside my chest. Minutes passed for what seemed like hours as the judges contemplated my fate. Then, with a gesture of a hand, I was summoned to the judges' table. The piercing glances of the judges which had struck intimidating fear in my bones, had now been offset by smiles upon their faces. "I made it!" I thought. But as words began to flow from their mouths, my short-lived excitement turned to despair. "Unfortunately", one judge said, "We cannot send you through to the next round." My heart, which was beating more violently than ever, now felt as if it had stopped. But I believe I am getting ahead of myself, so let us go back to where this story began.

In discovering the gift of singing at a very young age, vocal music became a huge part of my life. In an effort to develop this new found talent I began singing at home, at church, and in local, state, and national singing competitions. Over the years my passion for singing grew so immensely that I desired to audition for American Idol, a television program which provides singers the opportunity to further their music careers by competing for a record deal. Finally, at the age of 17, my dream became a reality as I traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for the auditions. After countless hours of waiting, it was my turn to audition. The previously mentioned events unfolded leaving me with feelings of anger and disappointment; anger towards the judges for not moving me forward in the competition, and disappointment towards myself for thinking I could have done something different.

With time, however, I came to the realization that this setback, which I once perceived to be the end of my singing pursuits, was really just the beginning of my musical endeavors. Growth in life occurs through stepping out of your comfort zone and taking risks. The outcomes of these risks can be good or bad. While the good ones are undoubtedly favored among most, I believe the bad ones are much more profitable in the long run. They cause those who must overcome them to learn and to grow from these experiences in ways they never imagined. For instance, the results of my audition sparked a growth in my singing confidence, as well as a desire to continue to grow and to develop my passion for singing, none of which could have been attained had it not been for the obstacles with which I was faced.

Despite the fact that I did not succeed the first time, I plan to audition again. I will approach this next audition with a sprit of gratitude, knowing that I have already benefited from the previous audition in such a profound way. I will proceed to grow and to learn from this life changing experience, and continue to persevere until I am that which I started out to become, the next American Idol.
ohreally 8 / 20  
Dec 31, 2008   #2
I really enjoyed reading your essay.
It flowed nicely and the story sucked me in.

I didn't feel like there were any evident punctuation errors...
(Maybe I'm blind?)

I think it's perfect the way it is! :]

Good luck!
OP timothyerdei 4 / 16  
Dec 31, 2008   #3
Thanks so much! Does anyone else notice anything?
scarpino 2 / 4  
Dec 31, 2008   #4
Minutes passed for what seemed like hours (awkward)
The piercing glances of the judge's
Don't start sentences with BUT
In discovering MY gift of singing at a very young age
I began singing at home, at church, and in local, state, and national singing competitions in an effort to develop this new found talent. (makes it less awkward)

sprit (I think you mean spirit)

way too many commas (I have the same problem)
I'm really not qualified to offer any advice, but I hope this helps!
Good job
OP timothyerdei 4 / 16  
Dec 31, 2008   #5
Thanks for the advice. I changed "MY" and I did mean "spirit".
EF_Kevin 8 / 13320 129  
Jan 1, 2009   #8
The previously mentioned events unfolded leaving me with feelings of anger and disappointment; anger towards the judges for not moving me forward in the competition, and disappointment towards myself for thinking I could have done something differently .

"While the good ones are undoubtedly favored among most, I believe the bad ones are much more profitable in the long run."NICE!!

Great essay, and good last sentence! I'll be looking for you on American Idol! When you win, I can tell people I helped you with this essay!!:)
OP timothyerdei 4 / 16  
Jan 1, 2009   #9
Thanks so much! I feel much more confident now.


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